Sociological Research in Queens

Food for Thought

I arranged to meet @georgeosupremo because I like people who disagree with me. He studied sociology in college and that’s one of my favorite subjects. In fact, I sometimes wish I had studied it in school. Talking to George made me realize why I love eating around in New York City, particularly in Queens. To me, it’s essentially sociological research, which explains why I don’t really care about how good the food is. I would happily eat junk food as long as the experience has sociological merits. Food, in a way, is only a cover—a ticket into the unknown world.

This is also the reason why I don’t like dining in Manhattan. The restaurants in Manhattan are generally devoid of sociological values because they translate everything into the economically dominant, white European language. It’s essentially like watching TV shows about foreign cultures. Many of them are even worse; they are parodies of the originals, like theme park attractions. Even if the food is exceptionally good, I’m bored—unless they are so absurd that they become interesting from a psychological point of view.

We had originally planned on going to a different Egyptian restaurant but while I was looking at the menu in front of the restaurant, an Egyptian lady came up to me and told me that there are much better ones a few blocks away. Usually, most people find me “unapproachable” but in situations where I’m evaluating foreign foods, it appears that I suddenly become approachable. Perhaps I just look utterly clueless, and they think, “That man clearly needs help.” If true, it’s advantageous for my sociological research.